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August 4 2014.

Newhaven’s Severn Class relief lifeboat ‘RNLB Volunteer Spirit’ was launched on Saturday at 4:15 pm to initial reports of two people in the water on the west side of Newhaven’s main breakwater.

As the lifeboat left the harbour at speed, two crew were readied in dry suits and the inflatable Y boat was prepared ready for launch. The pair of anglers were quickly located and were on rocks just above the breaking waves. It is unclear how the pair made their way so far along the arm, but it was reported they had walked along at low tide, although there was a deflated dinghy very close to their position.

The lifeboat Coxswain assessed the on-scene conditions, which were one metre waves and a fresh south westerly breeze and the decision was made that it would be safer to evacuate the pair up the Breakwater wall, rather than use the Y boat as there was a risk of causing injury to the casualties during the recovery due to the submerged concrete blocks which protect the breakwater from the prevailing south westerly seas.

Newhaven lifeboat agreed to standby with two of its crew in dry suits and the Y boat ready to be deployed. The lifeboat acted as a safety boat for the casualties and the teams recovering them.

Newhaven Coastguards arrived at the scene shortly afterwards on the prohibited structure and lowered one of their team to assess the casualties. The fire brigade were also called and working with the coastguard a ladder was rigged and secured. A safety harness was then placed on one of the casualty and he was assisted up the face of the breakwater. Shortly afterwards the second casualty was evacuated from the rocks.

Deputy second Coxswain Phill Corsi explained: "The two casualties were very lucky that the conditions had not deteriorated further otherwise they could have been washed into the sea.

"We would always recommend that anyone using the beaches, or other marine structures, check the weather forecast and tides times before setting out, as this incident could have turned into a tragedy."

Newhaven lifeboat returned to station and was again ready for service at 6:15pm.